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Thread: Encore 802.11n PCI Wireless Adapter

  1. #1
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    Default Encore 802.11n PCI Wireless Adapter

    Phoronix: Encore 802.11n PCI Wireless Adapter

    While wireless chipsets are not as complicated as graphics processors, under Linux they can cause just as many headaches when it comes to getting them working reliably. More hardware vendors have opened up to supporting their wireless chipsets under Linux, but still it can be a pain having to hunt down the firmware for a wireless adapter, needing to build an out-of-tree driver, having issues with the driver such as with WEP/WPA authentication, or if all else fails trying to get the Windows driver working under Linux through ndiswrapper. However, for those looking for a PCI-based 802.11g/n wireless adapter that will work "out of the box" with modern distributions like Ubuntu 9.10, one that we have found to do the job is the Encore ENLWI-N.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=14487

  2. #2
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    It seems nice.

    Is ad-hoc supported ?
    And packets sniffing ?

  3. #3
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    Hi,

    In the UK I use this:

    Edimax EW-7728In

    Same as the card in the article, just available in the UK instead of not.
    That's not a poke at the article, just letting people know you can get an equivalent in the UK.

    It even advertises it's Linux compatibility on the box!
    WELCOME TO THE WOOOOOORLD OF TOMORROW!

    J.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoronix View Post
    Phoronix: Encore 802.11n PCI Wireless Adapter
    Unfortunately things are not as rosy as the article suggests... First of all, the card is using PCI, which is slowly dying and it started to disappear on many new motherboards (especially mATX/ITX which would be useful for a HTPC, which this type of card seems to be geared for).

    Second and more importantly, the RaLink drivers are crippled intentionally and the company is not supporting them in any way! What is missing -- essentially Master (AP) mode and a proper kernel interface (the configuration has to be done using some arcane RaLink-specific parameters). The "true" open-source drivers for this chipset are developed at http://rt2x00.serialmonkey.com and are still in early stages of non-working after several years (!).

    So I wouldn't consider this card as a good choice for Linux at this point, as it can only be useful on a pure client role on an older M/B. There are USB alternatives that work just as well (even including the very same chipset) and are more versatile, or miniPCI solutions from the likes of Atheros that have better drivers and support.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgc8 View Post
    Unfortunately things are not as rosy as the article suggests... First of all, the card is using PCI, which is slowly dying and it started to disappear on many new motherboards (especially mATX/ITX which would be useful for a HTPC, which this type of card seems to be geared for).
    Most of the mini-itx motherboards I've been looking at still only have a PCI slot, and don't have PCI-express. The 780G-based mATX board in my HTPC has 2x PCI slots, 1x 16x PCI-express, and 1x PCI-express x1 slot. I've got a TV tuner in the 1x slot, a wireless card in a PCI slot, and I've got one each of free PCI-express and PCI slots.

    I have seen a gradual shift from PCI to PCI-express, but PCI isn't quite dead yet. given that this card is limited to 802.11n speeds (300 Mbit/s?), it's not even close to capping out the max bandwidth of the PCI bus (133 MB/s).

    Besides the few mini-itx boards out there that have PCI-express x16 slots instead of a PCI slot, I haven't seen any other motherboards on sale recently that don't have at least one or two PCI slots.

  6. #6
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    I got a laptop with a PCI-E RT2860 recently and the experience is the exact opposite of what the article suggests.

    The driver's flaky and half-finished at best. It drops the connection randomly every so often, or instantly if I do certain things like attempt to run powertop. The dmesg log gets flooded with debug messages even though I'm certain there's no wifi debugging compiled into the kernel. I've had wicd completely freeze a few times requiring a reboot too.

    All in all, Ralink's linux support is a joke.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veerappan View Post
    Most of the mini-itx motherboards I've been looking at still only have a PCI slot, and don't have PCI-express.

    Besides the few mini-itx boards out there that have PCI-express x16 slots instead of a PCI slot, I haven't seen any other motherboards on sale recently that don't have at least one or two PCI slots.
    I'd say probably half now have pci-e, half pci.

    The i7 860 matx I recently built has 3 pci-e and 1 pci.
    I built a dual i7 with atx. 5 pci-e and 1 pci. Last year I built a dual core2 quad, 4 pci-e, 1 pci (can't access in the case I have).

    Stores local carry no pci-e wireless and they're still rare in the wild. Same can be said for tuner cards, sound cards, etc.

  8. #8
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    Default Low Profile Bracket

    To me any device that goes into any slot is useless unless it comes with a low profile bracket.

    If they want to sell me one of these cards they better include a low profile bracket in the package.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bnolsen View Post
    Stores local carry no pci-e wireless and they're still rare in the wild. Same can be said for tuner cards, sound cards, etc.
    Yeah, that's one thing that's really bothering me. It's very common to have like 5 PCIe slots and only 1 or maybe 2 PCI slots on a mobo. But most hardware around is still PCI.
    Last edited by monraaf; 01-09-2010 at 11:38 AM.

  10. #10
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    A lot of RaLink changes are happening in the 2.6.33 kernel.

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